Eliana Maria Nigro Rocha


Abstracts - Agosto a Dezembro de 2016

Ordem alfabética do título do artigo




A Brief Version of the Unhelpful Thoughts and Beliefs About Stuttering Scales: The UTBAS-6 - AVALIAÇÃO

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2016 Oct 1;59(5):964-972.


Iverach L, Heard R, Menzies R, Lowe R, O'Brian S, Packman A, Onslow M.

Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia; University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


PURPOSE: A significant proportion of adults who stutter experience anxiety in social and speaking situations. The Unhelpful Thoughts and Beliefs About Stuttering (UTBAS) scales provide a comprehensive measure of the unhelpful cognitions associated with social anxiety in stuttering. However, reducing the number of UTBAS items would make it ideal as a brief screening instrument. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to develop a brief version of the full UTBAS scales.

METHOD: The 66-item UTBAS scales were completed by 337 adults who stutter. Item reduction was used to determine a smaller set of items that could adequately reproduce the total score for each full UTBAS scale.

RESULTS: Item reduction resulted in the inclusion of six items for the brief UTBAS-6 scales. Decile ranges for scores on the brief UTBAS-6 provide reliable estimates of the full UTBAS scores and valuable clinical information about whether a psychological assessment is warranted.

CONCLUSIONS: The brief UTBAS-6 provides a reliable and efficient means of screening the unhelpful thoughts and beliefs associated with speech-related anxiety among adults who stutter. Referral for a psychological assessment is recommended in cases where the UTBAS total score falls in or above the fifth decile.

PMID: 27617559 DOI: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0167




A comparison of three strategies for reducing the public stigma associated with stuttering - SOCIAL

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Dec;50:44-58. Epub 2016 Sep 30.


Boyle MP, Dioguardi L, Pate JE.

Montclair State University,United States.


PURPOSE: The effects of three anti-stigma strategies for stuttering-contact (hearing personal stories from an individual who stutters), education (replacing myths about stuttering with facts), and protest (condemning negative attitudes toward people who stutter)-were examined on attitudes, emotions, and behavioral intentions toward people who stutter.

METHOD: Two hundred and twelve adults recruited from a nationwide survey in the United States were randomly assigned to one of the three anti-stigma conditions or a control condition. Participants completed questionnaires about stereotypes, negative emotional reactions, social distance, discriminatory intentions, and empowerment regarding people who stutter prior to and after watching a video for the assigned condition, and reported their attitude changes about people who stutter. Some participants completed follow-up questionnaires on the same measures one week later.

RESULTS: All three anti-stigma strategies were more effective than the control condition for reducing stereotypes, negative emotions, and discriminatory intentions from pretest to posttest. Education and protest effects for reducing negative stereotypes were maintained at one-week follow-up. Contact had the most positive effect for increasing affirming attitudes about people who stutter from pretest to posttest and pretest to follow-up. Participants in the contact and education groups, but not protest, self-reported significantly more positive attitude change about people who stutter as a result of watching the video compared to the control group.

CONCLUSION: Advocates in the field of stuttering can use education and protest strategies to reduce negative attitudes about people who stutter, and people who stutter can increase affirming attitudes through interpersonal contact with others.

PMID: 27865229 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.09.004




Alcohol drinking patterns in young people: A survey-based study - OUTRAS ÁREAS

J Health Psychol. 2016 Sep 13. [Epub ahead of print]


Martinotti G, Lupi M, Carlucci L, Santacroce R, Cinosi E, Acciavatti T, Sarchione F, Verrastro V, Diotaiuti P, Petruccelli I, Ferrari S, Nanni MG, Pinna F, Volpe U, Saggino A, Janiri L, Leggio L, Di Giannantonio M.

University 'G. d'Annunzio', Italy; University of Cassino, Italy; Kore University of Enna, Italy; University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy; University of Ferrara, Italy; University of Cagliari, Italy; Second University of Naples, Italy; Catholic University Medical School, Italy; USA Brown University, USA.


Binge drinking represents a major clinical and public health concern. Here, we investigated the prevalence of binge drinking and its related consequences, in a population of young adults. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 4275 healthy subjects. In the overall sample, the percentage of binge drinkers was 67.6 per cent; among regular alcohol users, 79.5 per cent reported episodes of binge drinking. Among binge drinkers, several serious consequences were identified (staggering and stuttering, amnesia, loss of control, aggressiveness, sexual disinhibition). Raising awareness about the seriousness of binge drinking may help health care providers to identify cases early on and provide appropriate treatments.

PMID: 27624615 DOI: 10.1177/1359105316667795




Altered Modulation of Silent Period in Tongue Motor Cortex of Persistent Developmental Stuttering in Relation to Stuttering Severity - NEUROCIÊNCIAS

PLoS One. 2016 Oct 6;11(10):e0163959. eCollection 2016.

Free Full Text: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0163959&type=printable


Busan P, Del Ben G, Bernardini S, Natarelli G, Bencich M, Monti F, Manganotti P, Battaglini PP.

IRCCS Fondazione Ospedale San Camillo, Venice, Italy; University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy; ABC Balbuzie, Turin, Italy; University of Padua, Padua, Italy; University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.


Motor balance in developmental stuttering (DS) was investigated with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), with the aim to define novel neural markers of persistent DS in adulthood. Eleven DS adult males were evaluated with TMS on tongue primary motor cortex, compared to 15 matched fluent speakers, in a "state" condition (i.e. stutterers vs. fluent speakers, no overt stuttering). Motor and silent period thresholds (SPT), recruitment curves, and silent period durations were acquired by recording tongue motor evoked potentials. Tongue silent period duration was increased in DS, especially in the left hemisphere (P<0.05; Hedge's g or Cohen's dunbiased = 1.054, i.e. large effect size), suggesting a "state" condition of higher intracortical inhibition in left motor cortex networks. Differences in motor thresholds (different excitatory/inhibitory ratios in DS) were evident, as well as significant differences in SPT. In fluent speakers, the left hemisphere may be marginally more excitable than the right one in motor thresholds at lower muscular activation, while active motor thresholds and SPT were higher in the left hemisphere of DS with respect to the right one, resulting also in a positive correlation with stuttering severity. Pre-TMS electromyography data gave overlapping evidence. Findings suggest the existence of a complex intracortical balance in DS tongue primary motor cortex, with a particular interplay between excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms, also in neural substrates related to silent periods. Findings are discussed with respect to functional and structural impairments in stuttering, and are also proposed as novel neural markers of a stuttering "state" in persistent DS, helping to define more focused treatments (e.g. neuro-modulation).

PMID: 27711148 PMCID: PMC5053488 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163959




An investigation of the effects of a speech-restructuring treatment for stuttering on the distribution of intervals of phonation. - FALA

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Dec;50:13-22. Epub 2016 Sep 9.


Brown L, Wilson L, Packman A, Halaki M, Onslow M, Menzies R.

Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia; The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, Australia.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether stuttering reductions following the instatement phase of a speech-restructuring treatment for adults were accompanied by reductions in the frequency of short intervals of phonation (PIs). The study was prompted by the possibility that reductions in the frequency of short PIs is the mechanism underlying such reductions in stuttering.

METHOD: The distribution of PIs was determined for seven adults who stutter, before and immediately after the intensive phase of a speech-restructuring treatment program. Audiovisual recordings of conversational speech were made on both assessment occasions, with PIs recorded with an accelerometer.

RESULTS: All seven participants had much lower levels of stuttering after treatment but these were associated with reductions in the frequency of short PIs for only four of them. For the other three participants, two showed no change in frequency of short PIs, while for the other participant the frequency of short PIs actually increased.

CONCLUSIONS: Stuttering reduction with speech-restructuring treatment can co-occur with reduction in the frequency of short PIs. However, the latter does not appear necessary for this reduction in stuttering to occur. Thus, speech-restructuring treatment must have other, or additional, treatment agents for stuttering to reduce.

PMID: 27865226 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.09.001




Anomaly in neural phase coherence accompanies reduced sensorimotor integration in adults who stutter. - NEUROCIÊNCIAS

Neuropsychologia. 2016 Dec;93(Pt A):242-250.  Epub 2016 Nov 8.


Sengupta R, Shah S, Gore K, Loucks T, Nasir SM.

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA; speech IRL, Chicago, IL, USA; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA.


Despite advances in our understanding of the human speech system, the neurophysiological basis of stuttering remains largely unknown. Here, it is hypothesized that the speech of adults who stutter (AWS) is susceptible to disruptions in sensorimotor integration caused by neural miscommunication within the speech motor system. Human speech unfolds over rapid timescales and relies on a distributed system of brain regions working in a parallel and synchronized manner, and a breakdown in neural communication between the putative brain regions could increase susceptibility to dysfluency. Using a speech motor adaptation paradigm under altered auditory feedback with simultaneous recording of EEG, the oscillatory cortical dynamics was investigated in stuttering and fluent adults (FA). Auditory feedback perturbation involved the shifting of the formant frequencies of the target vowel sound. Reduced adaptation in response to the feedback error was observed in AWS and was accompanied by differences in EEG spectral powers and anomalies in phase coherence evolving over the course of speech motor training. It is understood that phase coherence possibly captures neural communication within speech motor networks. Thus, the phase coherence network of the two groups exhibited differences involving the EEG frequency bands. These findings in anomalous neural synchrony provide novel evidence for compromised neuronal communication at short time scales within the speech motor network of AWS.

PMID: 27833009 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.11.004




A Research Note to Encourage Study of Speech Breathing in Children Who Stutter.

Percept Mot Skills. 2016 Aug;123(1):277-8. Epub 2016 Jul 20.

No abstract available.


Radford NT.

University of TN Health Sciences, Knoxville, TN, USA

PMID: 27440762 DOI: 10.1177/0031512516660702




Behavioural, emotional and social development of children who stutter. - INFANTIL

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Dec;50:23-32. Epub 2016 Sep 15.


McAllister J

University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.


PURPOSE: Developmental stuttering may be associated with diminished psychological well-being which has been documented from late childhood onwards. It is important to establish the point at which behavioural, emotional and social problems emerge in children who stutter.

METHODS: The study used data from the Millennium Cohort Study, whose initial cohort comprised 18,818 children. Analysis involved data collected when the cohort members were 3, 5 and 11 years old. The association between parent-reported stuttering and performance on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire was determined in regression analyses which controlled for cohort members' sex, verbal and non-verbal abilities, maternal education, and family economic status.

RESULTS: Compared with typically-developing children, those who stuttered had significantly higher Total Difficulties scores at all three ages; in addition, scores on all of the sub-scales for 5-year-olds who stuttered indicated poorer development than their peers, and 11-year-olds who stuttered had poorer development than peers in all areas except prosocial skills. At ages 5 and 11, those who stuttered were more likely than peers to have scores indicating cause for clinical concern in almost all areas.

CONCLUSION: Children who stutter may begin to show impaired behavioural, emotional and social development as early as age 3, and these difficulties are well established in older children who stutter. Parents and practitioners need to be aware of the possibility of these difficulties and intervention needs to be provided in a timely fashion to address such difficulties in childhood and to prevent the potential development of serious mental health difficulties later in life.

PMID: 27865227 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.09.003




Childhood Neurogenic Stuttering Due to Bilateral Congenital Abnormality in Globus Pallidus: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. - INFANTIL

Iran J Child Neurol. 2016 Fall;10(4):75-79.

Free PMC Article - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5100041/pdf/ijcn-10-075.pdf


Saeedi MJ, Esfandiary E, Almasi Dooghaee M

Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran; Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Objective The basal ganglia are a group of structures that act as a cohesive functional unit. They are situated at the base of the forebrain and are strongly connected with the cerebral cortex and thalamus. Some speech disorders such as stuttering can resulted from disturbances in the circuits between the basal ganglia and the language motor area of the cerebral cortex. Stuttering consists of blocks, repetitive, prolongation or cessation of speech. We present a 7.5 -year-old male child with bilateral basal ganglia lesion in globus pallidus with unclear reason. The most obvious speech disorders in patient was stuttering, but also problems in swallowing, monotone voice, vocal tremor, hypersensitivity of gag reflex and laryngeal dystonia were seen. He has failed to respond to drug treatment, so he went on rehabilitation therapy when his problem progressed. In this survey, we investigate the possible causes of this type of childhood neurogenic stuttering.

PMID: 27843470 PMCID: PMC5100041




Childhood Stuttering: Where Are We and Where Are We Going? - CONCEITO

Semin Speech Lang. 2016 Nov;37(4):291-297. Epub 2016 Oct 4.

Free PMC Article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5257259/pdf/nihms-843352.pdf


Smith A, Weber C.

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.


Remarkable progress has been made over the past two decades in expanding our understanding of the behavioral, peripheral physiologic, and central neurophysiologic bases of stuttering in early childhood. It is clear that stuttering is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by atypical development of speech motor planning and execution networks. The speech motor system must interact in complex ways with neural systems mediating language and other cognitive and emotional processes. During the time when stuttering typically appears and follows its path to either recovery or persistence, all of these neurobehavioral systems are undergoing rapid and dramatic developmental changes. We summarize our current understanding of the various developmental trajectories relevant for the understanding of stuttering in early childhood. We also present theoretical and experimental approaches that we believe will be optimal for even more rapid progress toward developing better and more targeted treatment for stuttering in the preschool children who are more likely to persist in stuttering.

PMID: 27701705 PMCID: PMC5257259 DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1587703




Communication restriction in adults who stutter: Part III. - TERAPIA

Clin Linguist Phon. 2016 Sep 6:1-14. [Epub ahead of print]


Lee AS, Robb M, Van Dulm O, Ormond T.

University of Canterbury , Christchurch , New Zealand; Stellenbosch University , Stellenbosch , South Africa.


This is the third article in a series examining communication restriction in adults with stuttering (AWS). The aim was to explore interpersonal communication behaviour in AWS at long-term treatment follow-up, using systemic functional linguistics (SFL) as an analytical framework. The performance of 10 AWS within 10-minute conversation samples was compared across pretreatment (T1), post-treatment (T2) and 12-month follow-up (T3), in terms of language productivity and complexity, modality, and appraisal. At T1 and T3, comparisons were also made to a control group (AWNS). Post-treatment increases in (1) language complexity, (2) frequency of modal operators and (3) expression of appraisal were maintained in the AWS group at T3. No significant differences in these areas were found between AWS and AWNS at T3. The findings suggest that intensive comprehensive stuttering treatment can affect lasting functional change in interpersonal language use for AWS.

PMID: 27599594 DOI: 10.1080/02699206.2016.1206622




Cortical activity during cued picture naming predicts individual differences in stuttering frequency. - NEUROCIÊNCIAS

Clin Neurophysiol. 2016 Sep;127(9):3093-101. Epub 2016 Jun 17.


Mock JR, Foundas AL, Golob EJ.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA.


OBJECTIVE: Developmental stuttering is characterized by fluent speech punctuated by stuttering events, the frequency of which varies among individuals and contexts. Most stuttering events occur at the beginning of an utterance, suggesting neural dynamics associated with stuttering may be evident during speech preparation.

METHODS: This study used EEG to measure cortical activity during speech preparation in men who stutter, and compared the EEG measures to individual differences in stuttering rate as well as to a fluent control group. Each trial contained a cue followed by an acoustic probe at one of two onset times (early or late), and then a picture. There were two conditions: a speech condition where cues induced speech preparation of the picture's name and a control condition that minimized speech preparation.

RESULTS: Across conditions stuttering frequency correlated to cue-related EEG beta power and auditory ERP slow waves from early onset acoustic probes.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings reveal two new cortical markers of stuttering frequency that were present in both conditions, manifest at different times, are elicited by different stimuli (visual cue, auditory probe), and have different EEG responses (beta power, ERP slow wave).

SIGNIFICANCE: The cue-target paradigm evoked brain responses that correlated to pre-experimental stuttering rate.

PMID: 27472545 PMCID: PMC5053619 [Available on 2017-09-01] DOI: 10.1016/j.clinph.2016.06.005

[PubMed - in process]




Crystal Ball Gazing: Research and Clinical Work in Fluency Disorders in 2026 - CONCEITO

Semin Speech Lang. 2016 Aug;37(3):145-52.  Epub 2016 May 27.


Manning WH, Quesal RW.

The University of Memphis, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee; Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois.


In this article, the authors (with the assistance of colleagues from whom they solicited comments), provide a forward-looking perspective on research and clinical work in fluency disorders in the next 10-15 years. Issues discussed include neurology, genetics, early intervention, and clinical training in stuttering.

PMID: 27232089 [PubMed - in process]




Development of an internet version of the Lidcombe Program of early stuttering intervention: A trial of Part 1. - TERAPIA

Int J Speech Lang Pathol. 2016 Dec 2:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]


Van Eerdenbrugh S, Packman A, Onslow M, O'brian S, Menzies R.

The University of Sydney , Lidcombe , Australia and Thomas More University College , Antwerp , Belgium.


PURPOSE: There is evidence that access to treatment for early stuttering is not available for all who need it. An internet version of the Lidcombe Program for early stuttering (Internet-LP) has been developed to deal with this shortfall. The LP is suitable for such development because it is delivered by parents in the child's everyday environment, with training by a speech-language pathologist. A Phase I trial of Internet-LP Part 1, comprising parent training, is reported here.

METHOD: Eight parents of pre-schoolers who stutter were recruited and six completed the trial.

RESULT: Post-trial assessment indicated that the parents scored well for identifying and measuring stuttering and for knowledge about conducting practice sessions, including how to present verbal contingencies during practice sessions.

CONCLUSION: The results prompted minor adjustments to Part 1 and guided the construction of Part 2, which instructs parents during the remainder of the treatment process.

PMID: 27908200 DOI: 10.1080/17549507.2016.1257653




Discrimination and internalised feelings experienced by people who stutter in Jordan. - EMOCIONAL

Int J Speech Lang Pathol. 2016 Aug 9:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]


Alqhazo M, Blomgren M, Roy N, Abu Awwad M.

Jordan University of Sciences and Technology , Irbid , Jordan and The University of Utah , Salt Lake City , UT , USA.


PURPOSE: This study investigated the internalised feelings and discrimination experienced by people who stutter in Jordan.

METHOD: Five adult speakers who stutter were interviewed as a focus group. The participants were asked about their feelings related to stuttering and discrimination. The participants' responses in the focus group and items adapted from the extant literature formed the basis of a 20-item questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered to 20 additional adults who stutter to assess their internalised feelings about stuttering and their perceived rejecting behaviours (discrimination) associated with their impairment.

RESULT: Feeling "annoyed" was the item that received the highest percentage of negative internalised feelings, followed by "embarrassed," "shame," "disappointed," "nervous, "sad," "pessimistic," "fearful," "worried" and "lonely." The results of the discrimination experiences indicated that "getting a leadership position" was the item that most people who stutter reported being worried about, followed by "participation in the classroom," "getting a job," "getting married," "being fully paid in their jobs," "teased," "promoted" and "renting a house."

CONCLUSION: These findings provide further evidence of the universality that stuttering is more than the core surface features of speech, but also include aspects that exist below the surface such as negative internalised feelings and various discrimination experiences.

PMID: 27687010 DOI: 10.1080/17549507.2016.1209561




Effect of aerobic exercises on stuttering - PSICOMOTOR

Pak J Med Sci. 2016 Jul-Aug;32(4):1005-9. 

Free PMC Article: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5017068/pdf/PJMS-32-1005.pdf


Khan I, Nawaz I, Amjad I.

Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Stuttering is one of the most common speech disorders in adolescents than adults. Stuttering results in depression, anxiety, behavioral problem, social isolation and communication problems in daily life. Our objective was to determine the effect of Aerobic Exercises (AE) on stuttering.

METHODS: A quasi trail was conducted at National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM) from January to June 2015. Thirty patients were selected and placed in three different groups Experimental Group A, (EG = 10 patients, age between 7-14 years), Experimental Group B (EG =10 patients age between 15-28 years) and control group -group C, (CG = 10 patients, age between 7-28 years). Patient who stutter were included in this study and those with any other pathology or comorbidity of speech disorders were excluded. The assessment tool used was Real-Time analysis of speech fluency scale. Participants in all the groups received speech therapy while only the EG - A and B received aerobic exercises (AE) using treadmill and stationary bicycle along with the speech therapy. Pre-interventional and post interventional assessments were analyzed using the SPSS 21 in order to determine the significance of new treatment approach and the effectiveness of physical therapy on speech disorders.

RESULTS: All the groups showed significant treatment effects but both the EG groups (Group A, Group B) showed high improvement in the severity level of stuttering as compared to control group C. The results also showed that AE treated group B had significant difference in p-value (p=0.027) as compared to control group (p<0.05) while experimental group A had no significant difference (p > 0.05) between these groups.

CONCLUSION: The eclectic approach of aerobic exercises with the traditional speech therapy provides proximal rehabilitation of stuttering.

PMID: 27648057 PMCID: PMC5017068 DOI: 10.12669/pjms.324.9351





Emotional Diathesis, Emotional Stress, and Childhood Stuttering - EMOCIONAL

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2016 Aug 1;59(4):616-30.


Choi D, Conture EG, Walden TA, Jones RM, Kim H.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine (a) whether emotional reactivity and emotional stress of children who stutter (CWS) are associated with their stuttering frequency, (b) when the relationship between emotional reactivity and stuttering frequency is more likely to exist, and (c) how these associations are mediated by a 3rd variable (e.g., sympathetic arousal).

METHOD: Participants were 47 young CWS (M age = 50.69 months, SD = 10.34). Measurement of participants' emotional reactivity was based on parental report, and emotional stress was engendered by viewing baseline, positive, and negative emotion-inducing video clips, with stuttered disfluencies and sympathetic arousal (indexed by tonic skin conductance level) measured during a narrative after viewing each of the various video clips.

RESULTS: CWS's positive emotional reactivity was positively associated with percentage of their stuttered disfluencies regardless of emotional stress condition. CWS's negative emotional reactivity was more positively correlated with percentage of stuttered disfluencies during a narrative after a positive, compared with baseline, emotional stress condition. CWS's sympathetic arousal did not appear to mediate the effect of emotional reactivity, emotional stress condition, and their interaction on percentage of stuttered disfluencies, at least during this experimental narrative task following emotion-inducing video clips.

CONCLUSIONS: Results were taken to suggest an association between young CWS's positive emotional reactivity and stuttering, with negative reactivity seemingly more associated with these children's stuttering during positive emotional stress (a stress condition possibly associated with lesser degrees of emotion regulation). Such findings seem to support the notion that emotional processes warrant inclusion in any truly comprehensive account of childhood stuttering.

PMID: 27327187 DOI: 10.1044/2015_JSLHR-S-14-0357

[PubMed - in process]




Evidence That Bimanual Motor Timing Performance Is Not a Significant Factor in Developmental Stuttering. - PSICOMOTOR

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2016 Aug 1;59(4):674-85.


Hilger AI, Zelaznik H, Smith A.


PURPOSE: Stuttering involves a breakdown in the speech motor system. We address whether stuttering in its early stage is specific to the speech motor system or whether its impact is observable across motor systems.

METHOD: As an extension of Olander, Smith, and Zelaznik (2010), we measured bimanual motor timing performance in 115 children: 70 children who stutter (CWS) and 45 children who do not stutter (CWNS). The children repeated the clapping task yearly for up to 5 years. We used a synchronization-continuation rhythmic timing paradigm. Two analyses were completed: a cross-sectional analysis of data from the children in the initial year of the study (ages 4;0 [years;months] to 5;11) compared clapping performance between CWS and CWNS. A second, multiyear analysis assessed clapping behavior across the ages 3;5-9;5 to examine any potential relationship between clapping performance and eventual persistence or recovery of stuttering.

RESULTS: Preschool CWS were not different from CWNS on rates of clapping or variability in interclap interval. In addition, no relationship was found between bimanual motor timing performance and eventual persistence in or recovery from stuttering. The disparity between the present findings for preschoolers and those of Olander et al. (2010) most likely arises from the smaller sample size used in the earlier study.

CONCLUSION: From the current findings, on the basis of data from relatively large samples of stuttering and nonstuttering children tested over multiple years, we conclude that a bimanual motor timing deficit is not a core feature of early developmental stuttering.

PMID: 27391252 DOI: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0172

[PubMed - in process]




Fluency aspects of oral narrative task in del22q11.2 syndrome. – OUTRAS ÁREAS

Codas. 2016 Jul-Aug;28(4):373-8. doi: 10.1590/2317-1782/20162015179. Epub 2016 Aug 4.

 [Article in English, Portuguese]

Free full text - www.scielo.br/pdf/codas/v28n4/en_2317-1782-codas-2317-178220162015179.pdf

Português: www.scielo.br/pdf/codas/v28n4/2317-1782-codas-2317-178220162015179.pdf

Santos AO, Rossi NF, Tandel Mda C, Richieri-Costa A, Giacheti CM.

Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP - Marília (SP), Brasil; Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP - Rio Claro (SP), Brasil; Hospital de Reabilitação de Anomalias Craniofaciais - Bauru (SP), Brasil.


PURPOSE: To investigate the fluency aspects of the oral narrative task in individuals with del22q11.2 syndrome and compare them with those of individuals with typical language development.

METHODS: Fifteen individuals diagnosed with del22q11.2 syndrome, both genders, aged 7-17 years participated in this study. They were compared with 15 individuals with typical language development, with similar gender and chronological age profiles. The oral narrative was elicited using the book "Frog, Where Are You?", and the fluency aspects were analyzed according to speech rate and type and frequency of disfluency (typical and stuttering). The number and duration of pauses were also investigated. The data were statistically analyzed.

RESULTS: The group with del22q11.2 syndrome showed a higher average when compared with the group without the syndrome for the percentage of typical disfluencies, mainly hesitation and revision. The group presenting the syndrome also showed a higher average for stuttering disfluencies, with pause as the most frequent disfluency. With respect to speech rate, the group with the syndrome presented a lower average for the number of words and syllables per minute. Individuals with del22q11.2 syndrome showed greater difficulties of narration than their peers.

CONCLUSION: The fluency aspects of the oral narrative task in subjects with del22q11.2 syndrome were similar to those of individuals with typical language development regarding the presence of hesitation, revision, and pause, but they were different with respect to frequency of disfluency, which was higher in individuals with the syndrome.

PMID: 27509399 DOI: 10.1590/2317-1782/20162015179

[PubMed - in process]




Functional speech disorders: clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management. - AVALIAÇÃO

Handb Clin Neurol. 2016;139:379-388. 


Duffy JR.

Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN, USA


Acquired psychogenic or functional speech disorders are a subtype of functional neurologic disorders. They can mimic organic speech disorders and, although any aspect of speech production can be affected, they manifest most often as dysphonia, stuttering, or prosodic abnormalities. This chapter reviews the prevalence of functional speech disorders, the spectrum of their primary clinical characteristics, and the clues that help distinguish them from organic neurologic diseases affecting the sensorimotor networks involved in speech production. Diagnosis of a speech disorder as functional can be supported by sometimes rapidly achieved positive outcomes of symptomatic speech therapy. The general principles of such therapy are reviewed.

PMID: 27719858 DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-801772-2.00033-3




General vulnerability to stuttering: The experience of stuttering and conditions bringing about invulnerability. - CONCEITO

Med Hypotheses. 2016 Aug;93:55-61.  Epub 2016 May 18.


Briley PM, Kalinowski JS.

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, United States.


General vulnerability to stuttering is the broad awareness of stuttering and the ever-present, experiential sense of a person who stutters (PWS). It is defined by stuttering in all its forms and the awareness of its presence, both in moments of stuttering and moments of perceivably fluent speech. Under the heading of general vulnerability to stuttering is specific vulnerability to stuttering, which includes the actual events of stuttering (i.e., overt symptoms, covert symptoms, subperceptual stuttering, and anticipation of stuttering). The differentiation between the two is that specific vulnerability requires a specific moment of stuttering where general vulnerability does not.

PMID: 27372857 DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2016.05.016




Identification of fluency and word-finding difficulty in samples of children with diverse language backgrounds - AVALIAÇÃO

Int J Lang Commun Disord. 2016 Dec 30.  [Epub ahead of print]


Howell P, Tang K, Tuomainen O, Chan SK, Beltran K, Mirawdeli A, Harris J.

University College London, London, UK.


BACKGROUND: Stuttering and word-finding difficulty (WFD) are two types of communication difficulty that occur frequently in children who learn English as an additional language (EAL), as well as those who only speak English. The two disorders require different, specific forms of intervention. Prior research has described the symptoms of each type of difficulty. This paper describes the development of a non-word repetition test (UNWR), applicable across languages, that was validated by comparing groups of children identified by their speech and language symptoms as having either stuttering or WFD.

AIMS: To evaluate whether non-word repetition scores using the UNWR test distinguished between children who stutter and those who have a WFD, irrespective of the children's first language.

METHODS & PROCEDURES: UNWR was administered to ninety-six 4-5-year-old children attending UK schools (20.83% of whom had EAL). The children's speech samples in English were assessed for symptoms of stuttering and WFD. UNWR scores were calculated.

OUTCOMES & RESULTS: Regression models were fitted to establish whether language group (English only/EAL) and symptoms of (1) stuttering and (2) WFD predicted UNWR scores. Stuttering symptoms predicted UNWR, whereas WFD did not. These two findings suggest that UNWR scores dissociate stuttering from WFD. There were no differences between monolingual English-speakers and children who had EAL.

CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: UNWR scores distinguish between stuttering and WFD irrespective of language(s) spoken, allowing future evaluation of a range of languages in clinics or schools.

PMID: 28035712 DOI: 10.1111/1460-6984.12305




Impact of social media and quality life of people who stutter.

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Dec;50:59-71. Epub 2016 Sep 30.


Fuse A, Lanham EA.

The City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY United States.


No abstract available.

PMID: 27865230 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.09.005




Impaired motor inhibition in adults who stutter - evidence from speech-free stop-signal reaction time tasks - PSICOMOTOR

Neuropsychologia. 2016 Oct;91:444-450. Epub 2016 Sep 13.


Markett S, Bleek B, Reuter M1, Prüss H, Richardt K3, Müller T, Yaruss JS, Montag C.

University of Bonn, Germany; LVR Clinics Bonn, Germany; University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA; University of Ulm, Germany; University of Electronic Science and Technology, Chengdu, China.


Idiopathic stuttering is a fluency disorder characterized by impairments during speech production. Deficits in the motor control circuits of the basal ganglia have been implicated in idiopathic stuttering but it is unclear how these impairments relate to the disorder. Previous work has indicated a possible deficiency in motor inhibition in children who stutter. To extend these findings to adults, we designed two experiments to probe executive motor control in people who stutter using manual reaction time tasks that do not rely on speech production. We used two versions of the stop-signal reaction time task, a measure for inhibitory motor control that has been shown to rely on the basal ganglia circuits. We show increased stop-signal reaction times in two independent samples of adults who stutter compared to age- and sex-matched control groups. Additional measures involved simple reaction time measurements and a task-switching task where no group difference was detected. Results indicate a deficiency in inhibitory motor control in people who stutter in a task that does not rely on overt speech production and cannot be explained by general deficits in executive control or speeded motor execution. This finding establishes the stop-signal reaction time as a possible target for future experimental and neuroimaging studies on fluency disorders and is a further step towards unraveling the contribution of motor control deficits to idiopathic stuttering.

PMID: 27619005 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.09.008




Involvement of the Central Cognitive Mechanism in Word Production in Adults Who Stutter - FALA

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2016 Dec 1;59(6):1269-1282. 


Tsai PT, Ratner NB.

San José State University; University of Maryland at College Park.


PURPOSE: The study examined whether semantic and phonological encoding processes were capacity demanding, involving the central cognitive mechanism, in adults who do and do not stutter (AWS and NS) to better understand the role of cognitive demand in linguistic processing and stuttering. We asked (a) whether the two linguistic processes in AWS are capacity demanding, which can temporally disrupt the processing of a concurrent nonlinguistic task, and (b) whether AWS and NS show similar patterns of temporal disruption in the two processes.

METHOD: Twenty AWS and 20 matched NS participated in the study. We examined semantic interference and phonological facilitation effects, using the picture-word interference paradigm, under concurrent and sequential processing of a secondary, nonlinguistic task.

RESULTS: Both AWS and NS showed statistically significant semantic interference and phonological facilitation effects, and both effects caused temporal disruption to the processing of a secondary task to the predicted extent.

CONCLUSIONS: The observed result patterns in both AWS and NS suggest that both semantic and phonological encoding processes are capacity demanding and can be vulnerable to concurrent processing demands. This finding on NS is inconsistent with the current literature on young, fluent adults and warrants further investigation.

PMID: 27930777 DOI: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-14-0224




'I worried my stammer would be a barrier' - SOCIAL

Nurs Stand. 2016 Nov 9;31(11):38-39.


Trueland J.


From the age of five Bethany Watson was sure she wanted to be a nurse, but she always feared her stammer would get in the way.

PMID: 27848431 DOI: 10.7748/ns.31.11.38.s41

[Indexed for MEDLINE]




Left posterior-dorsal area 44 couples with parietal areas to promote speech fluency, while right area 44 activity promotes the stopping of motor responses. - NEUROCIÊNCIAS

Neuroimage. 2016 Nov 15;142:628-644. Epub 2016 Aug 16.

Free full text: http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1053811916304153/1-s2.0-S1053811916304153-main.pdf?_tid=771d9e1e-e8b0-11e6-8efe-00000aacb361&acdnat=1485975709_ada16519bfd8de331e037d4ac3e30abf


Neef NE, Bütfering C, Anwander A, Friederici AD, Paulus W, Sommer M.

Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany; Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany


Area 44 is a cytoarchitectonically distinct portion of Broca's region. Parallel and overlapping large-scale networks couple with this region thereby orchestrating heterogeneous language, cognitive, and motor functions. In the context of stuttering, area 44 frequently comes into focus because structural and physiological irregularities affect developmental trajectories, stuttering severity, persistency, and etiology. A remarkable phenomenon accompanying stuttering is the preserved ability to sing. Speaking and singing are connatural behaviours recruiting largely overlapping brain networks including left and right area 44. Analysing which potential subregions of area 44 are malfunctioning in adults who stutter, and what effectively suppresses stuttering during singing, may provide a better understanding of the coordination and reorganization of large-scale brain networks dedicated to speaking and singing in general. We used fMRI to investigate functionally distinct subregions of area 44 during imagery of speaking and imaginary of humming a melody in 15 dextral males who stutter and 17 matched control participants. Our results are fourfold. First, stuttering was specifically linked to a reduced activation of left posterior-dorsal area 44, a subregion that is involved in speech production, including phonological word processing, pitch processing, working memory processes, sequencing, motor planning, pseudoword learning, and action inhibition. Second, functional coupling between left posterior area 44 and left inferior parietal lobule was deficient in stuttering. Third, despite the preserved ability to sing, males who stutter showed bilaterally a reduced activation of area 44 when imagine humming a melody, suggesting that this fluency-enhancing condition seems to bypass posterior-dorsal area 44 to achieve fluency. Fourth, time courses of the posterior subregions in area 44 showed delayed peak activations in the right hemisphere in both groups, possibly signaling the offset response. Because these offset response-related activations in the right hemisphere were comparably large in males who stutter, our data suggest a hyperactive mechanism to stop speech motor responses and thus possibly reflect a pathomechanism, which, until now, has been neglected. Overall, the current results confirmed a recently described co-activation based parcellation supporting the idea of functionally distinct subregions of left area 44.

PMID: 27542724 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.08.030

[PubMed - in process]




Lidcombe Program Webcam Treatment for Early Stuttering: A Randomized Controlled Trial - TERAPIA

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2016 Oct 1;59(5):932-939. 


Bridgman K, Onslow M, O'Brian S, Jones M, Block S.

The University of Sydney, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia; The University of Queensland, Australia.


PURPOSE: Webcam treatment is potentially useful for health care in cases of early stuttering in which clients are isolated from specialized treatment services for geographic and other reasons. The purpose of the present trial was to compare outcomes of clinic and webcam deliveries of the Lidcombe Program treatment (Packman et al., 2015) for early stuttering.

METHOD: The design was a parallel, open plan, noninferiority randomized controlled trial of the standard Lidcombe Program treatment and the experimental webcam Lidcombe Program treatment. Participants were 49 children aged 3 years 0 months to 5 years 11 months at the start of treatment. Primary outcomes were the percentage of syllables stuttered at 9 months postrandomization and the number of consultations to complete Stage 1 of the Lidcombe Program.

RESULTS: There was insufficient evidence of a posttreatment difference of the percentage of syllables stuttered between the standard and webcam Lidcombe Program treatments. There was insufficient evidence of a difference between the groups for typical stuttering severity measured by parents or the reported clinical relationship with the treating speech-language pathologist.

CONCLUSIONS: This trial confirmed the viability of the webcam Lidcombe Program intervention. It appears to be as efficacious and economically viable as the standard, clinic Lidcombe Program treatment.

PMID: 27617680 DOI: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0011




Long-term Consequences of Childhood Bullying in Adults who Stutter: Social Anxiety, Fear of Negative Evaluation, Self-esteem, and Satisfaction with Life - SOCIAL

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Dec;50:72-84. Epub 2016 Oct 15.


Blood GW, Blood IM.

The Pennsylvania State University, United States.


PURPOSE: Psychosocial disorders have been reported in adults who stutter, especially social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety has been linked to childhood victimization. It is possible that recalled childhood victimization could be linked to psychosocial problems reported in some adults who stutter.

METHOD: Participants were 36 adults who stutter and 36 adults who do not stutter (mean age=21.9 years). The Retrospective Bullying Questionnaire was completed for primary school, secondary school and university environments for physical, verbal, relational and cyber bullying. Participants were categorized into one of five groups (bully, victim, bully-victim, bystander and uninvolved) based on their responses. Participants completed four psychosocial scales: social interaction anxiety, fear of negative evaluation, self-esteem and satisfaction with life scales.

RESULTS: The two groups differed with adults who stutter having higher social interaction anxiety, fear of negative evaluation and satisfaction with life. Analyses of variance revealed that victims had the highest scores among both groups on all four scales.

CONCLUSION: Adults who recalled being victimized during childhood were more likely, regardless of whether they stutter or did not stutter, to have poorer psychosocial scale scores. These results show the lingering effects of childhood victimization, common in some children who stutter, may contribute to the reported psychosocial problems in adulthood. The need for early intervention for children who are bullied and future research with larger samples is warranted.

PMID: 27865231 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.10.002




Neurophysiologic markers of primary motor cortex for laryngeal muscles and premotor cortex in caudal opercular part of inferior frontal gyrus investigated in motor speech disorder: a navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) study - NEUROCIÊNCIAS

Cogn Process. 2016 Nov;17(4):429-442. Epub 2016 Apr 29.


Rogić Vidaković M, Jerković A, Jurić T, Vujović I, Šoda J, Erceg N, Bubić A, Zmajević Schönwald M, Lioumis P, Gabelica D, Đogaš Z.

University of Split, Split, Croatia; University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; Clinical Unit for Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring, Zagreb, Croatia; Helsinki University Hospital, HUS, Helsinki, Finland; SGM Medical Monitoring, Split, Croatia.


Transcranial magnetic stimulation studies have so far reported the results of mapping the primary motor cortex (M1) for hand and tongue muscles in stuttering disorder. This study was designed to evaluate the feasibility of repetitive navigated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for locating the M1 for laryngeal muscle and premotor cortical area in the caudal opercular part of inferior frontal gyrus, corresponding to Broca's area in stuttering subjects by applying new methodology for mapping these motor speech areas. Sixteen stuttering and eleven control subjects underwent rTMS motor speech mapping using modified patterned rTMS. The subjects performed visual object naming task during rTMS applied to the (a) left M1 for laryngeal muscles for recording corticobulbar motor-evoked potentials (CoMEP) from cricothyroid muscle and (b) left premotor cortical area in the caudal opercular part of inferior frontal gyrus while recording long latency responses (LLR) from cricothyroid muscle. The latency of CoMEP in control subjects was 11.75 ± 2.07 ms and CoMEP amplitude was 294.47 ± 208.87 µV, and in stuttering subjects CoMEP latency was 12.13 ± 0.75 ms and 504.64 ± 487.93 µV CoMEP amplitude. The latency of LLR in control subjects was 52.8 ± 8.6 ms and 54.95 ± 4.86 in stuttering subjects. No significant differences were found in CoMEP latency, CoMEP amplitude, and LLR latency between stuttering and control-fluent speakers. These results indicate there are probably no differences in stuttering compared to controls in functional anatomy of the pathway used for transmission of information from premotor cortex to the M1 cortices for laryngeal muscle representation and from there via corticobulbar tract to laryngeal muscles.

PMID: 27130564 DOI: 10.1007/s10339-016-0766-5




Olanzapine induced stuttering: a case report. - FARMACOLOGIA

Psychiatr Danub. 2016 Sep;28(3):299-300.

Free full text: www.hdbp.org/psychiatria_danubina/pdf/dnb_vol28_no3/dnb_vol28_no3_299.pdf


Lasić D, Cvitanović MŽ, Krnić S, Uglešić B.

University Hospital Centre Split, Split, Croatia


No abstract available

PMID: 27658840

[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]




Parent-child interaction in motor speech therapy - OUTRAS ÁREAS

Disabil Rehabil. 2016 Dec 5:1-6. [Epub ahead of print]


Namasivayam AK, Jethava V, Pukonen M, Huynh A, Goshulak D, Kroll R, van Lieshout P.

University of Toronto , Toronto , Ontario , Canada; Toronto Rehabilitation Institute , Toronto , Ontario , Canada; The Speech & Stuttering Institute , Toronto , Ontario , Canada.


PURPOSE: This study measures the reliability and sensitivity of a modified Parent-Child Interaction Observation scale (PCIOs) used to monitor the quality of parent-child interaction. The scale is part of a home-training program employed with direct motor speech intervention for children with speech sound disorders.

METHOD: Eighty-four preschool age children with speech sound disorders were provided either high- (2×/week/10 weeks) or low-intensity (1×/week/10 weeks) motor speech intervention. Clinicians completed the PCIOs at the beginning, middle, and end of treatment. Inter-rater reliability (Kappa scores) was determined by an independent speech-language pathologist who assessed videotaped sessions at the midpoint of the treatment block. Intervention sensitivity of the scale was evaluated using a Friedman test for each item and then followed up with Wilcoxon pairwise comparisons where appropriate.

RESULTS: We obtained fair-to-good inter-rater reliability (Kappa = 0.33-0.64) for the PCIOs using only video-based scoring. Child-related items were more strongly influenced by differences in treatment intensity than parent-related items, where a greater number of sessions positively influenced parent learning of treatment skills and child behaviors.

CONCLUSION: The adapted PCIOs is reliable and sensitive to monitor the quality of parent-child interactions in a 10-week block of motor speech intervention with adjunct home therapy. Implications for rehabilitation Parent-centered therapy is considered a cost effective method of speech and language service delivery. However, parent-centered models may be difficult to implement for treatments such as developmental motor speech interventions that require a high degree of skill and training. For children with speech sound disorders and motor speech difficulties, a translated and adapted version of the parent-child observation scale was found to be sufficiently reliable and sensitive to assess changes in the quality of the parent-child interactions during intervention. In developmental motor speech interventions, high-intensity treatment (2×/week/10 weeks) facilitates greater changes in the parent-child interactions than low intensity treatment (1×/week/10 weeks). On one hand, parents may need to attend more than five sessions with the clinician to learn how to observe and address their child's speech difficulties. On the other hand, children with speech sound disorders may need more than 10 sessions to adapt to structured play settings even when activities and therapy materials are age-appropriate.

PMID: 27917704 DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2016.1243165




Parents' reactions to children's stuttering and style of coping with stress - AMBIENTE

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Sep;49:51-60. Epub 2016 Aug 21.


Humeniuk E, Tarkowski Z.

Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland.


PURPOSE: The aim of the research was to determine: (a) how parents react to their child's stuttering, (b) what stress coping strategies they utilise, as well as (c) whether stress coping style depends on parents' reaction to their child's stuttering.

METHODS: The research involved 23 mothers and 23 fathers of children who stutter (CWS) at the age of three to six years old. The Reaction to Speech Disfluency Scale (RSDS), developed by the authors, was used in the research. To determine the parents' coping the Coping Inventory in Stressful Situations (CISS) by N.S. Endler and D.A Parker was applied.

RESULTS: The strongest reactions are observed on the cognitive level. Stronger cognitive, emotional and behavioural reactions are observed in the mothers towards their disfluently speaking sons and in the fathers towards their daughters. Having analysed the profiles of coping styles, it can be noticed that the task-oriented coping is most frequently adapted by the fathers. The mothers most often use the avoidance-oriented coping. No relevant correlation was observed between the fathers' coping style and their reactions to the child's disfluent speech. As far as the mothers are concerned, it has been proved that an increase in behavioural reactions correlates with the avoidance-oriented coping.

CONCLUSION: The cognitive reactions of the parents' towards their child's stuttering were most frequent, while the emotional ones were the least frequent. Confronted with a stressful situation, the fathers most often adapt the task-oriented coping, whereas the mothers use the avoidance-oriented coping.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: the reader will be able to (1) learn what the key reactions of parents to their children's stuttering are, (2) describe stuttering as a stress factor for the parents, (3) describe the factors which influence parents' reactions to their child's stuttering and their coping style.

PMID: 27638192 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.08.002




Pregabalin-Associated Stuttering in a Patient With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: A Case Report.

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2016 Dec;36(6):740-742.


Giray E, Şanal Toprak C, Saçaklidir R, Gündüz OH.

University School of Medicine Istanbul, Turkey


No abstract avaliable

PMID: 27755156 DOI: 10.1097/JCP.0000000000000609




Premonitory Awareness in Stuttering Scale (PAiS) - AVALIAÇÃO

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Sep;49:40-50. Epub 2016 Aug 9.


Cholin J, Heiler S, Whillier A, Sommer M.

Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany; Bielefeld University, Germany; University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany.


Anticipation of stuttering events in persistent developmental stuttering is a frequent but inadequately measured phenomenon that is of both theoretical and clinical importance. Here, we describe the development and preliminary testing of a German version of the Premonitory Awareness in Stuttering Scale (PAiS): a 12-item questionnaire assessing immediate and prospective anticipation of stuttering that was translated and adapted from the Premonitory Urge for Tics Scale (PUTS) (Woods, Piacentini, Himle, & Chang, 2005). After refining the preliminary PAiS scale in a pilot study, we administered a revised version to 21 adults who stutter (AWS) and 21 age, gender and education-matched control participants. Results demonstrated that the PAiS had good internal consistency and discriminated the two speaker groups very effectively, with AWS reporting anticipation of speech disruptions significantly more often than adults with typical speech. Correlations between the PAiS total score and both the objective and subjective measures of stuttering severity revealed that AWS with high PAiS scores produced fewer stuttered syllables. This is possibly because these individuals are better able to adaptively use these anticipatory sensations to modulate their speech. These results suggest that, with continued refinement, the PAiS has the potential to provide clinicians and researchers with a practical and psychometrically sound tool that can quantify how a given AWS anticipates upcoming stuttering events.

PMID: 27638191 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.07.001

[PubMed - in process]




Prevalence of anxiety disorders among children who stutter. - EMOCIONAL

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Sep;49:13-28. Epub 2016 Jul 25.


Iverach L, Jones M, McLellan LF, Lyneham HJ, Menzies RG, Onslow M, Rapee RM.

Macquarie University, North Ryde, Australia; University of Queensland, Australia; The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, Australia.


PURPOSE: Stuttering during adulthood is associated with a heightened rate of anxiety disorders, especially social anxiety disorder. Given the early onset of both anxiety and stuttering, this comorbidity could be present among stuttering children.

METHOD: Participants were 75 stuttering children 7-12 years and 150 matched non-stuttering control children. Multinomial and binary logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios for anxiety disorders, and two-sample t-tests compared scores on measures of anxiety and psycho-social difficulties.

RESULTS: Compared to non-stuttering controls, the stuttering group had six-fold increased odds for social anxiety disorder, seven-fold increased odds for subclinical generalized anxiety disorder, and four-fold increased odds for any anxiety disorder.

CONCLUSION: These results show that, as is the case during adulthood, stuttering during childhood is associated with a significantly heightened rate of anxiety disorders. Future research is needed to determine the impact of those disorders on speech treatment outcomes.

PMID: 27638189 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.07.002




Psychogenic (functional) parkinsonism - OUTRAS ÁREAS

Handb Clin Neurol. 2016;139:259-262. 


Thenganatt MA1, Jankovic J2.

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.


Psychogenic parkinsonism (PP), although often quite disabling, is one of the least commonly reported subtypes of psychogenic movement disorders. There are certain features that help distinguish PP from idiopathic Parkinson's disease, such as abrupt onset, early disability, bilateral shaking and slowness, nondecremental slowness when performing repetitive movements, voluntary resistance against passive movement without cogwheel rigidity, distractibility, "give-way" weakness, stuttering speech, bizarre gait, and a variety of behavioral symptoms. While the diagnosis of PP is clinical, functional imaging evaluating the integrity of nigrostriatal pathways can help distinguish PP from other types of parkinsonism. PP can coexist in patients with organic parkinsonism, adding to the challenge of making a diagnosis of PP. Being cognizant of the clinical signs of psychogenic movement disorders, including PP, will lead to earlier diagnosis and hopefully improved outcomes.

PMID: 27719845 DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-801772-2.00022-9




Randomized clinical trial: the use of SpeechEasy® in stuttering treatment - TERAPIA

Int J Lang Commun Disord. 2016 Nov;51(6):769-774. Epub 2016 Jun 8.


Ritto AP, Juste FS, Stuart A, Kalinowski J, de Andrade CR.

University of São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA.


BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefit of devices delivering altered auditory feedback (AAF) as a therapeutic alternative for those who stutter.

AIMS: The effectiveness of a device delivering AAF (SpeechEasy®) was compared with behavioural techniques in the treatment of stuttering in a randomized clinical trial.

METHODS & PROCEDURES: Two groups of adults who stutter participated: group 1 consisted of 10 men and one woman aged 21-42 years (mean = 30.0). Group 2 consisted of six men and one woman aged 20-50 years (mean = 35.6). Participants in group 1 were fit with a SpeechEasy® device and were not given any additional training (i.e., supplementary fluency enhancing techniques). Participants used the device daily for 6 months. Participants in group 2 received treatment in the form of a 12-week fluency promotion protocol with techniques based on both fluency shaping and stuttering modification.

OUTCOMES & RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences (p > .05) between groups in participants' stuttered syllables following treatment. That is, both therapeutic protocols achieved approximately 40% reduction in number of stuttered syllables from baseline measures, with no significant relapse after 3 or 6 months post-treatment.

CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: The results suggest that the SpeechEasy® device can be a viable option for the treatment of stuttering.

PMID: 27271500 DOI: 10.1111/1460-6984.12237




Reactions of protective service workers towards people who stutter - SOCIAL

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Dec;50:1-12. Epub 2016 Aug 24.


Li J, Arnold HS, Beste-Guldborg A.

Kent State University, United States; Minot State University, United States.


PURPOSE: This study sought to assess whether protective service workers differ from people in non-protective services occupations in their intended reactions towards people who stutter (PWS).

METHODS: Analyses were based on questionnaire responses regarding intended reactions toward PWS from 171 protective services workers and 2595 non-protective services workers in the United States. A propensity score matching procedure was used to identify a comparison group of non-protective services workers for the protective services workers. The matching covariate variables included age, gender, years of education, familiarity with PWS, and beliefs about PWS.

RESULTS: Findings indicated that protective services workers had less helpful intended behavioral reactions and more negative affective reactions towards PWS than the matched non-protective services workers. Examination of the matching covariate variables in the larger sample also indicated that protective services workers had less accurate beliefs about PWS compared to respondents not in protective services professions.

CONCLUSION: Less favorable intended reactions of protective services workers toward PWS indicate a need for protective services workers to receive training in best practices when interacting with PWS..

PMID: 27865225 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.08.001




[Reasons and Consequences of Somatoform Disorders in Children and Adolescents]. -  TERAPIA

Georgian Med News. 2016 Dec;(261):46-51.

 [Article in Russian]


Khundadze M, Geladze N, Mkheidze R, Khachapuridze N, Bakhtadze S.

Tbilisi State Medical University. Georgia.


The aim of our study was to find the reason of various forms of somatoform disorders (phobias, behavioral disorders, insomnia, tics, stuttering, enuresis, encopresis) in children and adolescents of various social status for diagnosis and treatment. We have examined 202 patients who referred to our clinic from 2012-2016. The age range was 2-18 years. After examination we have concluded the following recommendations: - to implement neuropsychological rehabilitation in order to stimulate mental development; - to work with speech therapist to improvement the speech; - to work individually with psychotherapist to improve the behavior; - to train the parent to manage the behavior at home; - to give the personal card containing information about exercises, games and puzzles to stimulate the development and in some cases to give individual educational program; - to give separate information to parents and in some cases to teachers of kindergartens and schools.

PMID: 28132042




Relation between functional connectivity and rhythm discrimination in children who do and do not stutter. - PSICOMOTOR

Neuroimage Clin. 2016 Aug 25;12:442-50. eCollection 2016.

Free PMC Article: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5008055/pdf/main.pdf


Chang SE, Chow HM, Wieland EA, McAuley JD.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States; Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, United States.


Our ability to perceive and produce rhythmic patterns in the environment supports fundamental human capacities ranging from music and language processing to the coordination of action. This article considers whether spontaneous correlated brain activity within a basal ganglia-thalamocortical (rhythm) network is associated with individual differences in auditory rhythm discrimination. Moreover, do children who stutter with demonstrated deficits in rhythm perception have weaker links between rhythm network functional connectivity and rhythm discrimination? All children in the study underwent a resting-state fMRI session, from which functional connectivity measures within the rhythm network were extracted from spontaneous brain activity. In a separate session, the same children completed an auditory rhythm-discrimination task, where behavioral performance was assessed using signal detection analysis. We hypothesized that in typically developing children, rhythm network functional connectivity would be associated with behavioral performance on the rhythm discrimination task, but that this relationship would be attenuated in children who stutter. Results supported our hypotheses, lending strong support for the view that (1) children who stutter have weaker rhythm network connectivity and (2) the lack of a relation between rhythm network connectivity and rhythm discrimination in children who stutter may be an important contributing factor to the etiology of stuttering.

PMID: 27622141 PMCID: PMC5008055 DOI: 10.1016/j.nicl.2016.08.021

[PubMed - in process]




Reorganization of brain function after a short-term behavioral intervention for stuttering - NEUROCIÊNCIAS / TERAPIA

Brain Lang. 2017 May;168:12-22. Epub 2017 Jan 21.


Lu C, Zheng L, Long Y, Yan Q, Ding G, Liu L, Peng D, Howell P.

Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China; Stuttering Therapy Center, Beijing, China; University College London, UK.


This study investigated changes in brain function that occurred over a 7-day behavioral intervention for adults who stutter (AWS). Thirteen AWS received the intervention (AWS+), and 13 AWS did not receive the intervention (AWS-). There were 13 fluent controls (FC-). All participants were scanned before and after the intervention. Whole-brain analysis pre-intervention showed significant differences in task-related brain activation between AWS and FC- in the right inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and left middle temporal cortex, but there were no differences between the two AWS groups. Across the 7-day period of the intervention, AWS+ alone showed a significant increase of brain activation in the left ventral IFC/insula. There were no changes in brain function for the other two groups. Further analysis revealed that the change did not correlate with resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) that AWS showed in the cerebellum (Lu et al., 2012). However, both changes in task-related brain function and RSFC correlated with changes in speech fluency level. Together, these findings suggest that functional reorganization in a brain region close to the left IFC that shows anomalous function in AWS, occurs after a short-term behavioral intervention for stuttering.

PMID: 28113105 DOI: 10.1016/j.bandl.2017.01.001




Self-perceived competence and social acceptance of young children who stutter: Initial findings. - SOCIAL

J Commun Disord. 2016 Nov - Dec;64:18-31. Epub 2016 Sep 3.


Hertsberg N, Zebrowski PM.

University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA.


PURPOSE: The goals of this study were to determine whether young children who stutter (CWS) perceive their own competence and social acceptance differently than young children who do not stutter (CWNS), and to identify the predictors of perceived competence and social acceptance in young speakers.

METHOD: We administered the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (PSPCSA; Harter & Pike, 1984) to 13 CWS and 14 CWNS and examined group differences. We also collected information on the children's genders, temperaments, stuttering frequencies, language abilities, and phonological skills to identify which of these factors predicted PSPCSA scores.

RESULTS: CWS, as a group, did not differ from CWNS in their perceived general competence or social acceptance. Gender predicted scores of perceived general competence, and stuttering frequency predicted perceived social acceptance. Temperament, language abilities, and phonological skills were not significant predictors of perceived competence or social acceptance in our sample.

CONCLUSIONS: While CWS did not significantly differ from CWNS in terms of perceived competence and social acceptance, when both talker groups were considered together, girls self-reported greater perceived competence than boys. Further, lower stuttering frequency was associated with greater perceived social acceptance. These preliminary findings provide motivation for further empirical study of the psychosocial components of childhood stuttering.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Readers will be able to describe the constructs of perceived competence and social acceptance in young children, and whether early stuttering plays a role in the development of these constructs.

PMID: 27614314 PMCID: PMC5125843 [Available on 2017-11-01] DOI: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2016.08.004




Sensorimotor Oscillations Prior to Speech Onset Reflect Altered Motor Networks in Adults Who Stutter - PSICOMOTOR

Front Hum Neurosci. 2016 Sep 2;10:443. 

Free PMC Article: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5009120/pdf/fnhum-10-00443.pdf


Mersov AM, Jobst C, Cheyne DO, De Nil L.

University of Toronto Toronto, ON, Canada; Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute Toronto, ON, Canada.


Adults who stutter (AWS) have demonstrated atypical coordination of motor and sensory regions during speech production. Yet little is known of the speech-motor network in AWS in the brief time window preceding audible speech onset. The purpose of the current study was to characterize neural oscillations in the speech-motor network during preparation for and execution of overt speech production in AWS using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Twelve AWS and 12 age-matched controls were presented with 220 words, each word embedded in a carrier phrase. Controls were presented with the same word list as their matched AWS participant. Neural oscillatory activity was localized using minimum-variance beamforming during two time periods of interest: speech preparation (prior to speech onset) and speech execution (following speech onset). Compared to controls, AWS showed stronger beta (15-25 Hz) suppression in the speech preparation stage, followed by stronger beta synchronization in the bilateral mouth motor cortex. AWS also recruited the right mouth motor cortex significantly earlier in the speech preparation stage compared to controls. Exaggerated motor preparation is discussed in the context of reduced coordination in the speech-motor network of AWS. It is further proposed that exaggerated beta synchronization may reflect a more strongly inhibited motor system that requires a stronger beta suppression to disengage prior to speech initiation. These novel findings highlight critical differences in the speech-motor network of AWS that occur prior to speech onset and emphasize the need to investigate further the speech-motor assembly in the stuttering population.

PMID: 27642279 PMCID: PMC5009120 DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00443




Specific subtype of fluency disorder affecting French speaking children: A phonological analysis - AVALIAÇÃO

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Dec;50:33-43. Epub 2016 Sep 11.


Brejon Teitler N, Ferré S, Dailly C.

Faculté de Médecine, Tours, France; Université François Rabelais, Tours France.


PURPOSE: Clinicians working with fluency disorders sometimes see children whose word repetitions are mostly located at the end of words and do not induce physical tension. Prior studies on the topic have proposed several names for these disfluencies including "end word repetitions", "final sound repetitions" and "atypical disfluency". The purpose of this study was to use phonological analysis to explore the patterns of this poorly recognized fluency disorder in order to better understand its specific speech characteristics.

METHODS: We analyzed a spontaneous language sample of 8 French speaking children. Audio and video recordings allowed us to study general communication issues as well as linguistic and acoustical data.

RESULTS: We did not detect speech rupture or coarticulation failures between the syllable onset and rhyme. The problem resides primarily on the rhyme production with a voicing interruption in the middle of the syllable nucleus or a repetition of the rhyme (nucleus alone or nucleus and coda), regardless of the position in the word or phrase.

CONCLUSION: The present study provides data suggesting that there exist major differences in syllable production between the disfluencies produced by our 8 children and stuttered disfluencies. Consequently, we believe that this fluency disorder should be recognized as distinct from stuttering.

PMID: 27865228 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.09.002




Speech rhythm in Kannada speaking adults who stutter. - FALA

Int J Speech Lang Pathol. 2016 Aug 30:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]


Maruthy S, Venugopal S, Parakh P.

All India Institute of Speech and Hearing , Manasagangothri , Mysore , India.


PURPOSE: A longstanding hypothesis about the underlying mechanisms of stuttering suggests that speech disfluencies may be associated with problems in timing and temporal patterning of speech events.

METHOD: Fifteen adults who do and do not stutter read five sentences, and from these, the vocalic and consonantal durations were measured. Using these, pairwise variability index (raw PVI for consonantal intervals and normalised PVI for vocalic intervals) and interval based rhythm metrics (PercV, DeltaC, DeltaV, VarcoC and VarcoV) were calculated for all the participants.

RESULT: Findings suggested higher mean values in adults who stutter when compared to adults who do not stutter for all the rhythm metrics except for VarcoV. Further, statistically significant difference between the two groups was found for all the rhythm metrics except for VarcoV.

CONCLUSION: Combining the present results with consistent prior findings based on rhythm deficits in children and adults who stutter, there appears to be strong empirical support for the hypothesis that individuals who stutter may have deficits in generation of rhythmic speech patterns.

PMID: 27576027 DOI: 10.1080/17549507.2016.1221459




Strategies for Teachers to Manage Stuttering in the Classroom: A Call for Research - TERAPIA

Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch. 2016 Oct 1;47(4):283-296. 


Davidow JH, Zaroogian L, Garcia-Barrera MA.

Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY; University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.


PURPOSE: This clinical focus article highlights the need for future research involving ways to assist children who stutter in the classroom.

METHOD: The 4 most commonly recommended strategies for teachers were found via searches of electronic databases and personal libraries of the authors. The peer-reviewed evidence for each recommendation was subsequently located and detailed.

RESULTS: There are varying amounts of evidence for the 4 recommended teacher strategies outside of the classroom, but there are no data for 2 of the strategies, and minimal data for the others, in a classroom setting. That is, there is virtually no evidence regarding whether or not the actions put forth influence, for example, stuttering frequency, stuttering severity, participation, or the social, emotional, and cognitive components of stuttering in the classroom.

CONCLUSION: There is a need for researchers and speech-language pathologists in the schools to study the outcomes of teacher strategies in the classroom for children who stutter.

PMID: 27420187 DOI: 10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0057




The Client's Perspective on Voluntary Stuttering - TERAPIA

Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2016 Aug 1;25(3):290-305. 


Byrd CT, Gkalitsiou Z, Donaher J, Stergiou E.


PURPOSE: Voluntary stuttering is a strategy that has been suggested for use in the clinical literature but has minimal empirical data regarding treatment outcomes. The purpose of the present study is to explore client perspectives regarding the impact of the use of this strategy on the affective, behavioral, and cognitive components of stuttering.

METHOD: The present study used an original survey designed to explore the intended purpose. A total of 206 adults who stutter were included in the final data corpus. Responses were considered with respect to the type of voluntary stuttering the participants reportedly produced and the location of use.

RESULTS: A client perceives significantly greater affective, behavioral, and cognitive benefits from voluntary stuttering when the production is closely matched to the client's actual stutter and when it is used outside the clinical environment.

CONCLUSIONS: To enhance client perception of associated benefits, clinicians should encourage use of voluntary stuttering that closely matches the client's own stuttering. Clinicians should also facilitate practice of voluntary stuttering outside of the therapy room. Finally, clinicians should be aware that clients, at least initially, may not perceive any benefits from the use of this strategy.

PMID: 27391130 DOI: 10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0018

[PubMed - in process]




The Impact of Social-Cognitive Stress on Speech Variability, Determinism, and Stability in Adults Who Do and Do Not Stutter - FALA

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2016 Dec 1;59(6):1295-1314.

Free PMC Article - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5399758/pdf/JSLHR-59-1295.pdf


Jackson ES, Tiede M, Beal D, Whalen DH.

University of Iowa, New Haven, CT; Haskins Laboratories, New Haven, CT; Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, Ontario; University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; University of New York; Yale University, New Haven, CT.


PURPOSE: This study examined the impact of social-cognitive stress on sentence-level speech variability, determinism, and stability in adults who stutter (AWS) and adults who do not stutter (AWNS). We demonstrated that complementing the spatiotemporal index (STI) with recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) provides a novel approach to both assessing and interpreting speech variability in stuttering.

METHOD: Twenty AWS and 21 AWNS repeated sentences in audience and nonaudience conditions while their lip movements were tracked. Across-sentence variability was assessed via the STI; within-sentence determinism and stability were assessed via RQA.

RESULTS: Compared with the AWNS, the AWS produced speech that was more variable across sentences and more deterministic and stable within sentences. Audience presence contributed to greater within-sentence determinism and stability in the AWS. A subset of AWS who were more susceptible to experiencing anxiety exhibited reduced across-sentence variability in the audience condition compared with the nonaudience condition.

CONCLUSIONS: This study extends the assessment of speech variability in AWS and AWNS into the social-cognitive domain and demonstrates that the characterization of speech within sentences using RQA is complementary to the across-sentence STI measure. AWS seem to adopt a more restrictive, less flexible speaking approach in response to social-cognitive stress, which is presumably a strategy for maintaining observably fluent speech.

PMID: 27936276 PMCID: PMC5399758 DOI: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-16-0145




The Lidcombe Program of early stuttering intervention for Malaysian families: Four case studies - TERAPIA

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Sep;49:29-39. Epub 2016 Aug 2.


Vong E, Wilson L, Lincoln M.

Charles Sturt University, Albury, New South Wales, Australia; The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia.


PURPOSE: This study investigated the outcomes of implementing the Lidcombe Program, an evidence-based early intervention for stuttering, with four preschool children in Malaysia. Early stuttering intervention is currently underdeveloped in Malaysia, where stuttering treatment is often more assertion-based than evidence-based. Therefore, introducing an evidence-based early stuttering intervention is an important milestone for Malaysian preschoolers who stutter.

METHOD: The participants ranged from 3 years 3 months to 4 years 9 months at the start of the study. Beyond-clinic speech samples were obtained at 1 month and 1 week pretreatment and immediately post-Stage 1, and at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months post-Stage 1.

RESULTS: Two participants, who were bilingual, achieved near-zero levels of stuttering at 12 months posttreatment. Near zero levels of stuttering were also present in their untreated languages. One participant withdrew due to reasons not connected with the research or treatment. The remaining participant, who presented with severe stuttering, completed Stage 1 but had some relapse in Stage 2 and demonstrated mild stuttering 12 months post-Stage 1.

CONCLUSIONS: The outcomes were achieved without the need to significantly adapt Lidcombe Program procedures to Malaysian culture. Further research to continue evaluation of the Lidcombe Program with Malaysian families and to estimate proportion of those who will respond is warranted.

PMID: 27638190 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.07.003




The Palin Parent Rating Scales: Parents' Perspectives of Childhood Stuttering and Its Impact. - AVALIAÇÃO

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2016 Oct 1;59(5):950-963.


Millard SK, Davis S.

The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering, London, United Kingdom; University College London, United Kingdom.


PURPOSE: The goal of this study is to explore the psychometric properties of the Parent Rating Scales-V1 (S. K. Millard, S. Edwards, & F. M. Cook, 2009), an assessment tool for parents of children who stutter, and to refine the measure accordingly.

METHOD: We included 259 scales completed prior to therapy. An exploratory factor analysis determined the test constructs and identified the items that had greatest loadings on those factors. Items that did not load on the factors were removed, and normative scores calculated.

RESULTS: The resulting 19-item questionnaire measures three factors: (a) the impact of stuttering on the child; (b) the severity of stuttering and its impact on the parents; and (c) the parents' knowledge about stuttering and confidence in managing it. Reliability was demonstrated, norms established, and an automated online version constructed.

CONCLUSIONS: The Palin Parent Rating Scale is a valid and reliable tool, providing a method of exploring parents' perceptions of stuttering, the impact it has on the child and themselves, and the parents' knowledge of and confidence in managing the stuttering. This is an important addition to the existing range of assessments that may be used to evaluate stuttering in children up to age 14;6 (years;months) and allows the wider targets of parent-led therapy programs to be evaluated.

PMID: 27636859 DOI: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-14-0137




The placenta and neurodevelopment: sex differences in prenatal vulnerability. - GENÉTICA

Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2016 Dec;18(4):459-464.

Free PMC Article - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5286731/pdf/DialoguesClinNeurosci-18-459.pdf


Bale TL.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Prenatal insults, such as maternal stress, are associated with an increased neurodevelopmental disease risk and impact males significantly more than females, including increased rates of autism, mental retardation, stuttering, dyslexia, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sex differences in the placenta, which begin with sex chromosomes, are likely to produce sex-specific transplacental signals to the developing brain. Our studies and others have identified X-linked genes that are expressed at higher levels in the female placenta. Through a genome-wide screen after maternal stress in mice, we identified the X-linked gene O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase (OGT) and demonstrated its causality in neurodevelopmental programming producing a male-specific stress phenotype. Elucidating the sex-specific molecular mechanisms involved in transplacental signals that impact brain development is key to understanding the sex bias in neurodevelopmental disorders and is expected to yield novel insight into disease risk and resilience.

PMID: 28179817 PMCID: PMC5286731




Toward a Theory of Stuttering - CONCEITO

Eur Neurol. 2016;76(5-6):244-251. Epub 2016 Oct 18.

Free full text: https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/452215


Mawson AR, Radford NT, Jacob B.

Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss., USA.


Stuttering affects about 1% of the general population and from 8 to 11% of children. The onset of persistent developmental stuttering (PDS) typically occurs between 2 and 4 years of age. The etiology of stuttering is unknown and a unifying hypothesis is lacking. Clues to the pathogenesis of stuttering include the following observations: PDS is associated with adverse perinatal outcomes and birth-associated trauma; stuttering can recur or develop in adulthood following traumatic events such as brain injury and stroke; PDS is associated with structural and functional abnormalities in the brain associated with speech and language; and stuttering resolves spontaneously in a high percentage of affected children. Evidence marshaled from the literature on stuttering and from related sources suggests the hypothesis that stuttering is a neuro-motor disorder resulting from perinatal or later-onset hypoxic-ischemic injury (HII), and that chronic stuttering and its behavioral correlates are manifestations of recurrent transient ischemic episodes affecting speech-motor pathways. The hypothesis could be tested by comparing children who stutter and nonstutterers (controls) in terms of the occurrence of perinatal trauma, based on birth records, and by determining rates of stuttering in children exposed to HII during the perinatal period. Subject to testing, the hypothesis suggests that interventions to increase brain perfusion directly could be effective both in the treatment of stuttering and its prevention at the time of birth or later trauma.

PMID: 27750253 DOI: 10.1159/000452215




Utility of virtual reality environments to examine physiological reactivity and subjective distress in adults who stutter - SOCIAL

J Fluency Disord. 2016 Dec;50:85-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.10.001. Epub 2016 Oct 5.


Brundage SB, Brinton JM, Hancock AB.

George Washington University, Washington DC, United States


PURPOSE: Virtual reality environments (VREs) allow for immersion in speaking environments that mimic real-life interactions while maintaining researcher control. VREs have been used successfully to engender arousal in other disorders. The purpose of this study was to investigate the utility of virtual reality environments to examine physiological reactivity and subjective ratings of distress in persons who stutter (PWS).

METHOD: Subjective and objective measures of arousal were collected from 10PWS during four-minute speeches to a virtual audience and to a virtual empty room.

RESULTS: Stuttering frequency and physiological measures (skin conductance level and heart rate) did not differ across speaking conditions, but subjective ratings of distress were significantly higher in the virtual audience condition compared to the virtual empty room.

CONCLUSION: VREs have utility in elevating subjective ratings of distress in PWS. VREs have the potential to be useful tools for practicing treatment targets in a safe, controlled, and systematic manner.

PMID: 27720393 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2016.10.001






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